About Us

The Simblist Group is a professional sales agency in the gift and home industry that brings good people and great product together to create a little bit of magic in the world of retail. At the Simblist Group, our sales reps do more than just service accounts. We believe in personally supporting and working hard for the businesses in our territories. We seek to understand the unique flair that each account has, and then offer carefully crafted combinations of brands and goods that will drive successful growth for our customers.

Our Management


Kim Leister

Kim Leister

President

[email protected]
P: 404-524-2812


Kim launched her career in public relations and marketing, but always knew her love was retail and owning her own local shop. After a successful run as a local shop owner, she then went on to be a Sales Rep and eventually - with business partner Amy McKnight, purchased the Agency they worked for. Going back to her public relations and marketing roots, the Agency got a new name, new look, new perspective and Knack was born. In 2020, Knack merged with Simblist Group to grow and expand both businesses. Kim’s absolute love for the industry and all that it encompasses drive her to create an environment of positivity and success for all involved.

Amy McKnight

Amy McKnight

Vice President, Sales

[email protected]
P: 404-524-2812


Amy began her career as a Buyer for White House Black Market and went on to be the top Sales Rep for a Sales Agency in the Mid-Atlantic. Amy then joined forces with Kim Leister and purchased the Agency - changing the name to Knack and ultimately modernizing and growing the business to answer today's needs. Growing up in retail, Amy has an uncanny ability to understand customers and vendors alike for long-term partnership and success.

Charlie Wright

Charlie Wright

Director of Vendor Relations and Strategy

[email protected]
P: 323-834-9770


Charlie has more than twenty years of experience in the gift industry, working in sales, as a buyer and as a sales manager for one of the fastest-growing greeting card and gift brands in business. More recently, she has brought her skills and expertise to a wide range of brands as a consultant, as well as running her own handmade gift line out of her studio in Los Angeles. She joins the Simblist Group team in the hopes of using her knack for fostering great relationships and her years of experience as a vendor to ensure success for all Simblist Group brands. In her free time, you can find Charlie making things, taking photos, thrifting and hanging out with her husband and two cats: Penny Arcade and Gilda Radner, aka The Tortie Twins.

Our Sales Managers: Southeast


Cheryl Black

Cheryl Black

  • Alabama
  • Florida Panhandle

[email protected]
P: (205) 515-5010 F: (205) 449-5243


Cheryl began her career working in the banking industry with her Father. Their customer base was mostly community banks – local business. Cheryl always had a love for shopping. We all know good shoppers make great Sales Reps! Becoming a Rep for Simblist Group with her financial experience and shopping expertise made it a no brainer. Cheryl sees her job as not only an opportunity to work with shops that she has always loved, but also as helping communities stay afloat through servicing independent business. Spending time with family and friends is always the first thing Cheryl chooses to do. She is always up for an adventure and loves being outside any day of the week.

Shannon Blanks

Shannon Blanks

  • Mississippi

[email protected]
P: (601) 506-7117


Shannon has been in the sales industry since she graduated from college. Her professional career has included a start up children’s clothing company, sixteen years as a successful sales consultant in the professional salon industry, and a residential real estate sales agent in the central Mississippi area. Shannon is very excited to bring her consultative selling skills, her knowledge in the retail industry, and her passion for the products she represents to her customers. Shannon enjoys spending time with her family and friends. When she is not out on the road for Simblist, you can find her cheering on her children at a baseball game or gymnastics meet, playing tennis or pickleball, or catching up on the latest Netflix series.

Jenni Chambers

Jenni Chambers

  • Central & West Florida

[email protected]
P: (239) 440-1111 F: (813) 220-2022


Jenni has a long history of working with small business owners. Prior to Simblist Group, she was the Director of Operations for a 250 unit franchise chain based out of Atlanta. It is perhaps that background that drives her to work with customers on all aspects of their business. You will always hear her asking, "What is working for you? What other things are you looking to fill your shop with?” She believes in partnering with her customers to bring the best to their local market. Jenni is "Dog Mom" to Finney and Truvy Jones (the cutest little Bichpoos you ever did see). She and her husband love travelling and she is a "recreational competitive" tennis player.

Amanda Duensing

Amanda Duensing

  • Tennessee

[email protected]
P: (615) 228-4918 F: (615) 228-4001


Amanda came straight to Simblist Group from college. She grew up going to the Atlanta Apparel Mart, as her Father was a Sales Rep - so working in this industry is natural for her. Amanda feels passionately about helping customers curate buys that are perfect for their individual shops. She loves the long lasting friendships with the Simblist Group team, vendors, buyers and store owners that she has made. The inspiration she feels from them is the foundation for her business. When Amanda isn't working, she loves spending time being active, exploring nature, travelling, experimenting in the kitchen and most importantly planning and taking new adventures with her children.

Tatiana Faust Pollara

Tatiana Faust Pollara

  • Southeast Coast Florida

[email protected]
P: (813) 690-5081 F: (866) 504-4825


Tatiana is totally driven and detail oriented. Both are skills that are a must in the industry. Prior to coming to Simblist Group, Tatiana was a Buyer for a children's store. Simblist Group actually serviced the shop and when she moved to Miami, we were lucky enough to have her become a part of our Team. Tatiana is amazing at putting stories together for customers to bring them success in their shops. She loves what she does and it shows. When she isn't working, Tatiana loves spending time with her family, reading, practicing yoga and travelling.

Liz O'Mara

Liz O'Mara

  • Atlanta, East & Coastal Georgia
  • Asheville Area & Western North Carolina
  • Greenville Area & Northern South Carolina

[email protected]
P: (404) 325-8305 F: (866) 313-0731


Liz has the longest tenure out of all of our Simblist Group Reps. She started in the industry as an Assistant Manager at Crate and Barrel, went on to be a Buyer for Ferragamo and has even been on the shipping side packing product - but we will let her tell that story. Over the years, the relationships she has developed with customers and vendors have turned into wonderful friendships. She believes the Simblist Group family is a very special team that lifts one another up and supports each other both personally and professionally. She is very grateful to represent amazing vendors and sell product that she personally enjoys. Liz loves going on family vacations, listening to music, is a die-hard foodie and especially enjoys spending time with her grandnieces and nephews.

Laura Skinner

Laura Skinner

  • Northern Florida
  • Atlanta West & Southern Georgia
  • Highlands & Cashiers Area North Carolina

[email protected]
P: (770) 390-9047 F: (770) 390-9049


Laura has amazing insight on product and people and that is not surprising - she has a long history in our industry. She began as a buyer for Macy’s, went on to work in finance and spent several years in New York and Atlanta working part time with a division of Christian Dior. However, her longest history is in sales with Simblist Group – lucky us. Laura brings her extended experience to her customers every day – many of which have become dear friends. Laura is blessed with two beautiful grandchildren and in her spare time she loves focusing her attention on them.

Ashley Stanley

Ashley Stanley

  • Northeast Coast South Carolina
  • Central, Coastal & East Mountains North Carolina

[email protected]
P: (919) 787-2050 F: (919) 787-2009


It is no surprise that Ashley began her career in teaching. Being a Sales Rep is also about educating and she is amazing at it. Ashley went on to be a Retail Manager for a large chain, dabbled in Interior Design and ending up working at a small furniture shop before coming to Simblist Group. Over the years Ashley’s customers have become friends and she loves bringing them product that she too loves. Ashley loves spending time with her family – especially watching her son play sports, going to the gym, reading, cooking and walking the family dog.

Michele Smith

Michele Smith

  • Central & Southern South Carolina

[email protected]
P: (717) 676-8441


Michele has 25+ years in sales operations and product management. Her vast knowledge of the regional & national marketplace coupled with decisive leadership skills have consistently maximized growth opportunities for a diverse set of companies and products. Michele is passionate about the gift industry and sales. Relationships with her customers are top priority, and by constantly seeking ways to provide service and mutually beneficial programs, she lays the foundation for the long-term relationships with her accounts. Michele enjoys decorating, cooking, listening to music and spending time with her family!

Our Sales Managers: Mid-Atlantic


Ellen Abbott

Ellen Abbott

  • Delaware
  • Eastern Maryland
  • Virginia Beach

[email protected]
410-251-0143


Ellen brings to her job 10 years of experience as a buyer for South Moon Under and we are so lucky that she is on our team. She consistently meets and exceeds all sales goals and her customers love her. It does help that she seems to know and be connected to everyone in her territory! A mom to two great kids and wife, Ellen is our social butterfly. She knows everyone and everyone knows her – in the best way.

Marianne Keenan

Marianne Keenan

  • Eastern & Central Pennsylvania

[email protected]
610-505-2349


With a master's degree in education, Marianne uses this to teach customers about product. Marianne originally came to us to represent one line and now she is a full time Sales Rep for our complete line package. We are always amazed at Marianne's ability to take every lead and make them a customer. Her enthusiasm and never-quit attitude make her our fastest growing Rep. Mom to three and wife, Marianne is also a die-hard tennis competitor.

Annette Klaus

Annette Klaus

  • New Jersey

[email protected]
609-351-3414


Annette is no stranger to our industry. She has been an Independent Rep and Principal for more than 20 years. New Jersey is her home state, and she knows it inside and out. Being a NJ resident and working the territory for so many years, Annette has long standing relationships and friendships that have allowed her to be a success in the business. Annette cares about her customers and loves bringing them product that is best fit for them. Annette is married with two sons (20) and (22). She says the love of her life is her rescue cockapoo CeeLo Green (but don’t tell the rest of her family that). When Annette isn’t working she loves cooking, going to the beach and getting into Shenanigans with her friends.

Melissa Lloyd

Melissa Lloyd

  • Western Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

[email protected]
412-527-1569


Melissa is a seasoned Sales Rep. Not only does she bring an expert level of product knowledge to her customers, she also understands being a vendor. For many years Melissa owned her own Company (Philosopots). She participated in Market as a vendor, visited her customers across the country and even did live demos of how her product was made. She knows what her customers need and also knows the little things a vendor can do help improve and sell their product. Her diverse experience in the industry is a huge asset to all she encounters. Melissa has two grown daughters, enjoys time with family and friends and is our resident "zoom" expert!

Kirstyn Roberts

Kirstyn Roberts

  • Washington, DC
  • Western Maryland
  • Central & Northern Virginia

[email protected]
201-452-1584


Kirstyn is a “senior” member of our team. However, she is the youngest – lucky her! Kirstyn was formerly a Sales Manager and brings a great understanding to both sides of the business. She is consistently a top selling Sales Rep for our team and we always receive feedback from her customers that they love working with her. She is committed to our vendors and to her customer’s success. She also loves numbers and a big goal. Kirstyn is the perfect dog mom to her rescue mix PJ. Lucky PJ to have landed Kirstyn as his owner! A great lover of the outdoors, Kirstyn can be found sailing, running or just spending time outside.

Our Sales Managers: Northeast


Mary Beth O'Malley

Mary Beth O'Malley

  • Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod & Islands
  • Rhode Island

[email protected]
781-217-8537


Mary Beth began her career in Advertising. Years later, she joined a new hand-bag retail chain in store management, before becoming a wholesale gift and stationery sales rep. Creative and detail oriented, Mary Beth loves the opportunity to learn about not only the vendor's products, but also their passion and "story" behind the collection. Living in a small coastal town, Mary Beth understands the need to bring selective and curated lines to the many unique and charming small businesses throughout her territory. She has built strong partnering relationships as a trusted sales rep over the years. In her free time, Mary Beth loves spending time with her family and friends and playing golf!

Margaret Krauss

Margaret Krauss

  • Connecticut
  • Eastern Upstate New York

[email protected]
203-505-4274


Margaret has been serving customers as an independent sales rep for nearly a decade, and loves travelling to see the stores and helping her buyers find just the right items for their shelves. In her free time, if she isn't walking on the beach or with hanging out with her family, you'll find her serving on the boards of her favorite local non-profit organizations.

Melissa Filipiak

Melissa Filipiak

  • Western Upstate New York

[email protected]
585-993-1836


Melissa has been serving gift and home retailers as an independent sales rep for 5 years, and brings a wealth of experience from sales roles in other industries to her customers. Her responsiveness, creativity, and loyalty allow her to serve her customers deeply and develop a vested interest in their success as an overall business. In her spare time, you’ll find Melissa spending time with her children and cheering them on in all their activities, or possibly binge watching a good Netflix series!

Marilyn Marsanskis

Marilyn Marsanskis

  • Maine
  • Eastern New Hampshire

[email protected]
207-409-9291


Marilyn has worked in the wholesale/retail field for over 20 years. Along with maintaining the showroom in Maine, she also enjoys travelling to meet with shop owners, museums, hospitals and helping everyone discover what brands best fit for their type of business. Her original background is Archaeology, and she worked in the field around the country for several years before having children and needing to find a career that kept her close to home. Marilyn quickly discovered she had a knack for retail, and that wholesale sales was a perfect and rewarding career choice. She enjoys the challenge of working with customers to find new brands that will make their stores more successful.

Michaeline Kadlub

Michaeline Kadlub

  • Vermont
  • Western New Hampshire

[email protected]
603-344-0415


Michaeline began her work as a Sales Rep in 2015, after years of developing extensive customer service skills through work as a medical secretary, along with owning her own musical instrument business. When not working hard to serve her customers, you can find Michaeline spoiling her grandson Oliver, or her two cats Henry and Gomez - most likely with The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings playing in the background for the 1279th time!

Jackie Ford

Jackie Ford

  • Central, Northeastern, and Western Massachusetts

[email protected]
774-232-9318


Jackie built her retail sales background as a store owner herself. Her college major first led her to woodworking, mosaics, metal-smithing, and pottery. With that background, and her love of American craftsmanship, she and her mother opened a gift shop in Worcester, Mass, and eventually one in Holden. Together they experienced over 35 years of retail sales and ownership, and loved it. Today she continues to enjoy that experience by working with her retailers and understanding every part of their experience as store owners.

Showroom Team


Leica Vidal

Leica Vidal

  • Atlanta Showroom

[email protected]


Leica is our showroom EVERYTHING - from management, to sales, to design, she is the magic behind the madness. She joined the team in 2014 as a Showroom Coordinator and over the years has used her experience and everyday learning at Simblist Group to help us evolve in to a well-run machine. Her experience in construction, visual design and retail creates the perfect combination for greatness in our Showroom. Design is her true passion, and it shows. Not only does she love it, design comes to her naturally and is a true gift. She has a vision and is a perfectionist in a good way. Leica makes work a family affair. We’ve had the pleasure over the years of her daughter and son both helping out in our Showroom.